Less than a month after the tragic death of Aaron Carter, his friend and manager Taylor Helgeson is responding to criticism that he did not do enough for the 34-year-old singer, who was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for many years. his life is short.
“It seems like people are really upset that we didn’t expose him publicly. Why would you? Is there someone you care about? If you really want to help them, you speak up,” Helgeson tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Now Aaron had real friends, real family. We talked a lot in private. We did a lot of work. You know, 2017, we had to get him to treatment. We did.”
Helgeson has been friends with Carter for years, and worked with him on his 2018 album, Love, by co-writing some of the songs and touring with him. She said Carter asked her to help look after him over the past year.
“We know what we tried. We know what we did. I sleep easy at night knowing that I tried my best for my friend until he died,” Helgeson says. “And if it was a cartoon and we would have tied him down and dragged him to the hospital, we would have done that. But it’s not, it’s real life. And there’s a weakness that comes with watching someone go. With addiction.”
He took issue with the comments of Melanie Martin, Carter’s on-again, off-again, and mother of his one-year-old son, Prince. In response to Helgeson’s comments about Carter’s demise, he accused the manager of “having a hand in his return.”
“This man did nothing to help Aaron. He enabled him a lot,” she wrote. “All he did was put a wedge between me and Aaron to start the game. He tried to take and brought him things that shouldn’t have been brought to anyone. I need an addict.”
Martin accused Helgeson of “overworking” his client and continuing to use him to get paid for interviews. (Yahoo does not pay for interviews.)
Helgeson says there were enablers around, but he wasn’t one of them. He said that when Carter asked him to take care of his work, Helgeson had insisted that he have a stable home life. Both he and Martin had accused each other of domestic violence.
“I was shocked to see the comments from his ex,” says Helgeson. “This was terrifying.” Mainly because, Helgeson says, he had insisted Carter take time off.
Personally, Carter checked herself into an out-of-state hospital, in an attempt to get her son back, who Martin’s mother had reportedly put on trial, and was planning to reunite with estranged family members, including her brother Nick.
Then he missed the studio session and the show.
“And that was very different from him. That was engaging. That was different. That’s the kind of behavior we’ve never seen,” Helgeson explains. “The same way he was always able to show and, in the last month, two months, it changed. It changed a lot.”
Helgeson saw his friend for the last time at a recording studio, where they were going to work on a sequel. Lovetwo days before he died.
“I hadn’t seen him for a few months until I saw him. I could just see from his face, how bad he was. Instead of doing a recording session, we ended up having a… I wouldn’t say a fight. ,” Helgeson says, “but we ended up having a conversation. And he had to leave the part. You know, it wasn’t cruel. . It wasn’t anything like that. It was just, you’re not good now. .”
And so it is. Helgeson says he misses Carter a lot, but doesn’t blame him for his addiction.
He wants people to know that his friend was more than anything think they know.
“He was a giver. He was an amazingly generous person. And he loved people. He really loved people. And I think that part of what affected him was … he was open and he really wanted that love, you know, where anyone would criticize. He or he made fun of him on the Internet, he took those things seriously. It really affected him,’ Helgeson says. “And that’s when you see some of his behavior that makes him go back, because he”d hurt so much. It wasn’t that he was angry, you know. He was an empathetic person, but he was also just a giving and generous friend. I mean you can’t ask for a better friend than Aaron.”